UPDATE: Coles County man in custody after daylong chase

UPDATE: Coles County man in custody after daylong chase

A Coles County man who led Central Illinois police on a daylong multi-county pursuit Friday that included a home invasion, car theft and damage to a police vehicle is in police custody.

Cumberland County Sheriff Steve Maroon said Timothy W. Stutts, 34, who court records say recently lived in Charleston, was taken into custody near Bongard in southern Champaign County about 12:15 p.m. Friday, some 10 hours after he first caught the attention of police 85 miles to the south.

Maroon said Stutts was taken to jail in Coles County on Friday afternoon, where he had two outstanding criminal warrants. And it's likely he will eventually be charged in Cumberland County with offenses related to a home invasion in Neoga that happened early Friday.

Police were first alerted to a problem about 2 a.m., when, according to Effingham police Chief Jeff Fuesting, a man "flourished" a handgun at a male traveler at the Petro truck stop just off Interstate 70/57 in Effingham.

Police tried to stop the car that the man with the gun was in, but it did not stop and police ended the chase at the Effingham city limits, Fuesting said.

At 2:30 a.m., Maroon said, his deputies got a report of a home invasion just north of Neoga where a man, later identified as Stutts, allegedly entered the house, displayed a handgun to the couple who were in bed and told them he needed a car.

They handed over keys and he fled in their black Buick Verona. Maroon said the car he apparently had been in when he fled Effingham was found on I-57 not far from their home.

Not long after receiving the home-invasion report, Sullivan police spotted the stolen car in their city and tried to stop it. The driver did not stop for their squad cars, which had lights activated.

That sparked a pursuit, with speeds in excess of 100 mph, through Moultrie County that went into Douglas County and ended in southern Champaign County, when Stutts apparently bailed out of the stolen Verona, which had become mechanically disabled.

During the pursuit through northern Douglas and southern Champaign counties, about 4 a.m., a female Douglas County deputy trying to avoid a crash with another vehicle damaged her squad car but was not hurt. Police did not say if she was trying to avoid the stolen Verona.

Police from several area agencies set up a perimeter around Bongard, stopping cars in the area and using an airplane to search for the missing driver.

At 11:26 a.m., the Douglas County sheriff's office got a 911 call from a someone on a cellphone who reported seeing a suspicious person around Champaign County roads 1800 E and 300 N near Bongard.

Authorities from Villa Grove, Newman, the Champaign County and Douglas County sheriff's offices and Illinois State Police converged on the area and found Stutts, who was suffering from a shoulder injury he apparently received during the chase.

He was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital for treatment and was expected to be transferred to jail in Charleston.

Coles County court records show Stutts has prior convictions for possession of methamphetamine precursors that netted him prison sentences. He had other convictions for battery, possession of drug paraphernalia, and theft. He also has an unresolved unlawful use of weapons case in that county.

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